Go Rest High On That Mountain (Part 5)

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:25-34 ESV). The third reason not to be anxious is very pragmatic: anxiety doesn’t get you anywhere. It doesn’t do you any good. Jesus says, “And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life?” (v. 26). Whatever problem is causing you to feel anxious, you can be sure your anxiety will not lessen the problem. It will only make you miserable while you try to deal with it. So don’t be anxious. It’s useless. I have seen it said that worry and guilt are opposite sides of a wooden nickel, two useless emotions facing different directions. Worry looks ahead, seeing threat and disaster at every turn. Guilt looks behind, imposing self-blame for perceived misfortunes and disappointments. Behind every disturbing emotion is a disturbing thought. Disturbing thoughts contain logical flaws or distortions, such as being too harsh on yourself, exaggerating the importance of negative events, or focusing only on the negatives. To control negative emotions, you need to take control of the thoughts that lay behind them. Capturing disturbing thoughts involves monitoring or recording your inner speech or self-talk. The best self-talk is rooted in the truth of Scripture. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we are encouraged to meditate on the things of God. I have found it incredibly helpful to memorize verses from the Scripture. Inevitably one of those verses comes to mind when I am in a stressful situation. The Bible is the repository of truth; and, it is the truth that sets you...

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